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Day two of the consumer technology summit at BEYOND Expo gets underway

Experts and business leaders discuss autonomous driving, future directions in travel and the impact of AI on retail at BEYOND Expo 2023.




Less than 1 minute Minutes

Experts and business leaders discuss autonomous driving, future directions in travel and the impact of AI on retail at BEYOND Expo 2023.




Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 21 Dec 2023, 11:33 pm

Day two of the consumer technology summit at the BEYOND International Technology and Innovation Expo 2023 got underway on Thursday morning at the Venetian Macao.

BEYOND Expo is being held at Venetian Macao and features a packed schedule of panel discussions and product displays exploring the intersection of technology with healthcare, sustainability and consumer tech

The consumer tech summit is a component event that gathers industry experts, academics and business leaders to discuss topics in the life sciences industry and global solutions to health challenges. 

During Thursday’s proceedings, Carl Pei, the co-founder of startup smartphone company Nothing, kicked off a packed morning with a fireside chat with Richard Lai, senior reporter at Engadget.

The two discussed everything from breaking Apple’s stranglehold of the US market to Nothing’s unique “glyph” interface, which features 900 LED lights that light up in sync with ringtones and in the future will allow users to identify callers by the colours that flash.

[See more: UN Under-Secretary-General Tshilidzi Marwala opens sustainability summit at BEYOND]

“We’ve barely scratched the surface of what we can do with it. The real evolution is coming soon,” said Pei, alluding to the exciting changes occurring at breakneck speed in the smartphone space.

The impact of consumer tech

Later speakers highlighted the incredible impact consumer-focused technology is having on other sectors – and will soon have on society at large.

Burt Guo, president and chief scientist at Aerofugia, and Tianxin He, vice president of EHang, gave a glimpse of a future forecast by science fiction writers long ago. Both companies are at the vanguard of urban air mobility and expect their unmanned aircraft to revolutionise the way we travel sooner than many might realise.

“We firmly believe that one day ground transport will be completely unmanned,” Guo predicted, “but autonomous aircraft will come even earlier.” 

The morning session concluded with a talk from Sherwin Dai, director of global strategy for Ctrip Corporate Travel, about a topic likely to affect more people soon: AI and the future of travel. 

Ctrip, he explained, is already streamlining corporate travel by crunching data, leveraging tools like ChatGPT and using virtual agents to optimise schedules and find flights or hotels.

In the future, Dai said, AI will be able to recommend restaurants, translate in real-time, generate reimbursement reports and more.

“Some of this is already happening now, but we care more about the future,” he added.

Enhancing the consumer experience

The afternoon sessions explored the impact of AI on consumer and retail industries while allowing retail technology startups to showcase their products.

The heads of several rapidly growing startups, including Ling Fan, CEO and founder of digital asset management group Tezign, and Shawn Ding, vice president of Whale Tech, a company that uses AI to track and optimise in-store consumer data in real-time, took the stage to share insights into their game-changing software with visitors. 

In a panel immediately following their showcases, Fan and Ding joined Tianlan Shao, CEO and founder of AI and robotics startup Mechmind, and Ken Wang, CEO and founder of AI-powered content creation startup BOOLV, to explore the ways businesses can use AI to enhance the consumer experience. 

“The key point is you have to figure out who the users you serve are, and then you have to generate value for them,” said Shao. 

[See more: How will Macao power its ‘smart city’ aspirations?]

The way to do that is “to embrace technology,” added Ding. “You can’t escape its impact. You must invest in research and development into AI [to better serve your customers].”

The final panels and showcases carried a similar tone, led by the heads of several software-as-a-service (SaaS) firms on the verge of expanding globally, including Claire Chen, COO and co-founder of Clobotics; Vin Shan, CEO and founder of iCC Grow; Maggie Li, CMO of MRSTAGE; Xuan, CEO and founder of Chatail; and Keven Liu, CEO and founder of Skieer. 

Chen summed up the afternoon’s talks with one line that went straight to the point.

“We don’t provide technology,” she said. “We provide solutions.”

The mission of BEYOND Expo 2023 is to “encourage exchanges of ideas” and “promote comprehensive industrial upgrading, development, and transformation, for a better global innovation ecology”.

The event is being held until 12 May at the Venetian Macao Convention and Exhibition Centre. 

With reporting by Craig Sauers

Macao News is an official Macao media partner of BEYOND Expo 2023.


UPDATED: 21 Dec 2023, 11:33 pm

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